AMCU work stoppage ended with afternoon shift says Impala Platinum

Impala Platinum: Rustenburg

IMPALA Platinum (Implats) confirmed all its employees had returned to work at its Rustenburg operations following a one day work stoppage undertaken by majority union, the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (AMCU).

“All our employees returned from afternoon shift (on Wednesday) as expected,” said Johan Theron, spokesman for Implats.

AMCU had objected to the return to work of contractor employees who had swapped unions joining the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) from AMCU. Inter-union rivalry had caused friction at Implats’ operations since the beginning of the month.

Competition heated up with contractor employees not attending work at Implats so that they complete the process of switching unions. This impacted Implats to a limited extent because the company could draft in other contractors, said Theron.

“It has mainly affected No. 1 shaft that mostly uses contractors. This is a shaft where we have tried to extend the life through the use of contractors,” he said.

AMCU raised objections to the sudden return to work of many contractors citing risks to Covid-19 protocols. It was important to AMCU to demonstrate it had this strength and the switch of union members among contractors was not a victory for NUMSA, said Theron.

According to an industry source, other operations in the platinum belt had not been affected to date.